- Symphony No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 63
- Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55
- Froissart, concert overture for orchestra, Op. 19
There are great moments in this 2007 recording of Elgar's two symphonies with Andrew Davis and the Philharmonia. There's the strangely moving transformation of the "First"'s scherzo into its Adagio, the tenderly haunting recapitulation of the "Second"'s Larghetto, and particularly the sunset glory of the coda of the symphony's finale, and especially the quiet, long-held woodwind chords that close the piece. Most of the rest is mildly to very disappointing. The "First"'s opening Andante nobilmente is touched with nobility, but the Allegro that follows is all hustle and bustle without sensitivity. The "Second"'s opening Allegro vivace lacks drive, and the climax of the following Rondo lacks intensity. At points, Davis seems curiously unsure -- the "First"'s finale's ultimate peroration falls flat -- and at other points, the Philharmonia appears oddly unsteady -- the strings that should surge irresistibly upwards in the transition to the recapitulation of the "First"'s opening movement are not quite together. In general, these by no means poor or even mediocre performances, but given how great they are at some points, one can only regret what might have been. Signum's sound is rich and deep, but a tad congested in tuttis.